‘Marriage is only as beautiful as you make it . . . it’s not magic’

By Chanda Temple

Special to The Birmingham Times

Ricky and Tiki Curry. (Elle Danielle Photography)

“You Had Me at Hello’’ is a new column that highlights married couples’ love stories. If you would like to be considered, please send emails to chandatemple@gmail.com. Please include the couple’s name, contact number(s), marriage date, and what makes their love story unique.

Who: Ricky Curry, 48, and Tiki Curry, 41, of Bessemer, Ala.

Married: Sept. 7, 2012

Met: Nov. 11, 2011, Ricky noticed Tiki in the parking lot of Big Lots in Hoover, Ala. and followed her into the store. Tiki was looking for pillows for a set of new shams. Ricky was shopping for a microwave.

When did they have each other at “Hello?” While at the front of Big Lots, Tiki stopped to look at electric fireplaces to compare prices. Ricky stopped to comment on the fireplaces. Tiki smiled and gave small talk.

“I was honestly trying to blow him off. I wasn’t in the mood. I was just there for one purpose,’’ Tiki said. “As he followed me into the store and was talking, I was giving any excuse I could come up with not to give him my number.’’ Ricky understood and wasn’t pushy. Because of his calm demeanor, Tiki agreed to exchange numbers.

Ricky appreciated Tiki’s response and smile. She wasn’t rude or standoffish. Later that night, Ricky texted Tiki to say he enjoyed meeting her. A few days later, he called. They talked for hours. Once Tiki got off the phone, she wanted to know more. Ricky was already interested.

 The proposal: Five months after meeting, Ricky popped the question on his birthday during a day trip to Atlanta.

The interesting thing is that Ricky had been divorced for nearly 20 years, and had promised himself he would never marry again. Tiki had been engaged in the past, but never married. She vowed she would never date someone again just to date, and she was happy with her single life.

But after getting to know each other, they couldn’t deny their special connection.

Family matters: Tiki has 10 siblings and comes from a huge blended family with parents living in three households. Prior to proposing, Ricky called those three households and asked for permission to marry Tiki.

“That told me he knew how important family was to me and how important I was to them. That spoke volumes,’’ she said.

The wedding: They had a small wedding on Sept. 7, 2012 at the Sonnet House in Leeds, Ala.

To honor Tiki’s three sets of parents and Ricky’s mother, Tiki’s sister split Tiki’s bouquet into four parts, giving a section to the four groups before the wedding started. As Tiki walked down the aisle, Tiki collected the flowers from each group. When Tiki reached Ricky, he tied the bouquet with a ribbon. Tiki said it was the best way to honor her big family at the ceremony.

True confessions: Well before meeting Ricky, Tiki wrote a four-page confession to God, saying what she wanted in life, in a marriage, etc. She repeated the confessionhttp://www.wifetalkinc.com/ a few times and put it away. She recently stumbled across the confession and saw that she was living 96 percent of what she had requested. “And the 4 percent that I have now, I didn’t even know to ask for. God is faithful,’’ she said.  In her confession, one of the desires she had for her future husband was that he love God more than anything and the love he has for her is not far behind that.  “He lacks nothing,’’ Tiki wrote.  “He believes the Word and holds it deep in his heart.  He serves and praises you constantly.”

Making marriage work: Tiki is the Birmingham chapter director of Wife Talk Inc., a national ministry designed to promote and save marriages. It is open to married and engaged women to discuss the good and bad of marriage, seek assistance on different issues, etc. “We are speaking off of Godly wisdom and not off of the emotions,’’ Tiki said. “It’s never a place where you can bash your husband. It’s not a place for mess. We pray for our families. We pray for our husbands.’’

For more information, visit the national group’s Facebook page at Wife Talk Inc. or email Tiki at michellethomascurry@gmail.com. The Birmingham group, which meets monthly, has a private Facebook page that requires an invitation.

Marital advice: “Marriage is only as beautiful as you make it to be. It’s not magic,’’ Tiki said. “Marriage doesn’t happen just because. You have to be intentional to make it your happily ever after.”